Off the rails
What we must recognize is that since the rise of the Tea Party, likely before, we have people in government who are seriously mentally challenged. They lack critical thinking skills and believe in conspiracies that one would raise an eyebrow if repeated by a five year old. More importantly they are cult members who throw away the truth to be obedient to one very sick man, Trump. One thing that will help correct the problem will be indictments against Trump and others in congress who blatantly fostered and enabled insurrectionists on January 6th. But each day that goes by that we don't see an indictment of a major player is a day closer to unspeakable damage to our country. How will the press respond when Arizona claims that bamboo was found in the ballots concluding that the election was stolen or God forbid Marjorie Taylor Green shoots another member of congress? Is that what the press is waiting for? That we are at this point in history with the press finally using the word "lie" speaks volumes of their compliance with the madness that is today's GOP. Trump is out of office but Trump is still in our politics and in my observant opinion, that's the way the Press wants it.
I can't recall another time in which the media went to such lengths to "understand" an emotionally damaged president. Trump's petulance - instead of being described as what it was - was sold to us as him "processing" the election loss, and not something to worry about. (Thanks, Maggie!) The media should have listened to Dr. Mary Trump and Dr. Bandy Lee, both of whom opined that Trump was mentally ill (malignant narcissism), and both of whom warned he was incapable - not unwilling, but incapable - of accepting an electoral loss. Instead the media wasted its time and failed its prime mission by fretting over how to describe the tsunami of bullsh*t that came from Trump every day. Not knowing how to cover a pathologically dishonest president is part and parcel of not knowing how to cover his pathologically dishonest enablers in the GOP.
Our Failed Political Press ™ cannot say that one of our two parties has gone full Looney Tunes because it would then mean that they would have to admit that they’ve been wrong since, well, forever. What the pundits sell is their considered opinion, AND if their considered opinion has been wrong since at least the Reagan era, then they have a lot of explaining to do. But more importantly, our FPP would have to admit that not only is the Right bug-crazy but that the LEFT has been correct all this time; that just isn’t going to happen.
How does one report policy debates when one side has no policy? That is the story, and it will never be covered.
So instead we get BOTH SIDES and access journalism or Squirrel! (Distraction) and literally dog-bites-man (Major Biden).
The Times (and other legacy media) needs to treat what is happening with the GOP as a crisis -- with the same kind of home/front page DAILY graphics it provides for other disasters/crises. (Covid, gas 'crisis', floods, etc).
Crisis and disasters don't get "both sides" coverage -- sure, there were fewer deaths from the flu as a result of mask wearing thanks to Covid, but the pandemic was consistently, and unequivocally, presented as a bad thing. That is the approach that the media needs to take with the current GOP -- an unmitigated, existential threat to the Constitution and our democratic institutions.
I pay fairly close attention but hadn’t heard about the letter from top retired military brass saying that Biden stole the election. That should be getting a lot more media attention because it makes it clear that we have a serious problem with right wing crackpots in top positions in our military, not just a few rogue soldiers in low level positions. The media refuses to acknowledge the extent of this problem even though they have to know how dangerous it is to have people like that in top positions in law enforcement and the military. That is how successful coups happen.
In this afternoon's WaPo 5-Minute Fix e-blast:
"Democrats in Congress are making it clear they aren’t ready to move on from the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol...".
"Nervous about claims of 'liberal media bias' though, the press holds back."
I think this canard has run it's course. No, it isn't because they don't want to be accused of, or even be guilty of, bias against the right wing Republicon Party that makes the press averse to being more assertive in describing them as fascist and un-American. It is because they are in fact biased in favor of the right wing Republicon Party, regardless of how fascist and dangerous it becomes. The corporate media and the transcriptive "journalists" they employ are not cowards who are afraid of the mob the populists will unleash on them if they fail to enable the fascist propoganda and the normalization of corruption in our democratic republic. They are enthusiastic fans of it, because corporatism is good business, and protecting the status quo against disruption is a more reliable path to power and enrichment than advocating for disruption. The latter approach may seem attractive to the idealistic, but unless you happen to back the winning disruptive influence, it is a guarantee of self-destructive. The safe bet is always to curry favor with the powerful, and as long as the Republicons have income inequality, gerrymandering, and voter suppression on their side, they have more power, no matter how badly they are outnumbered.
The press doesn't need to protect the rich, they just need to protect those who protect the rich, and that will suffice.
"The GOP and its followers have become consumed in deliberate lies, yet the press still views the party as a serious entity whose views deserve to be treated respectfully." Indeed, Mr. B. Seems to me, in the case of Greene verbally assaulting a Democratic Rep (AOC) on camera, it's clear that the event had an aggressor and a victim. Fox company, OAN and the rest of that ilk play the same role as the Q spouting Greene; the beltway press, in trying not to offend (or whatever the true motive) tries to turn its' head and carry on. Meanwhile the Criminal Right and their compliant mouthpieces are beating the drums of war, while loading in lie after lie to feed to the cult. If nothing changes, and soon, we may all pay an unimaginable price.
Having worked for many years in three newsrooms, I know some reporters and editors are pushing to call things as they actually are. In fact, some of the debates are no doubt epic. Historically, news organizations resist getting too far out on a limb. In normal times, this is an admirable restraint. It's a kind of conservatism that the legions of media critics would never believe exists. But under the current circumstances, it's chicken-shit journalism. These are unchartered waters. Frankly, some news organizations would be delivering a badly needed public service by turning their print and digital front pages over to opinion columnists. Many of them are saying loudly what needs to be said. No, shouted.
Trump and the Republican party tried to overthrow the Government on 1/6. We should all be thankful that Trump is stupid, a coward, and most importantly, greedy. It’s the greed that saved the country, since Trump never really cared about being a leader, or actually doing the work. He just cares about the money, taking from the cultists. Look at him now, is actually doing anything, nope, just sits around spending the money brought in by the PACs. He’s not doing any rallies because that would cost money, no more free flights, no more free security, no more free halls – if he did a rally he’d need to come up with the cost up front.
It's no wonder the Republicans are putting up such a roadblock to the commission to investigate 1/6. They know that the investigation will show how there was coordination between the Republicans, the PACs, and the various white supremacist groups.
This country came close to ending on 1/6, if Trump was a little bit less greedy, and not such a coward, he could have succeeded. If he had marched on the Capital with the mob, who would have stopped him? He was still the Commander in Chief on 1/6, which means the military would have stayed out of it, and they already made reference to that in that announcement. The law enforcement, you think those cops would have fired on Trump and the crowd. He had a lot of law enforcement support, they probably would have helped.
I’m ex US Army, know how to clean, load, aim and fire a weapon, know about firing positions, demolitions, how to move under fire. None of that would have meant a damn thing if Trump had overthrown the Government, since I’m unarmed.
The Republican party tried to overthrow the Government.
And the national media is writing articles about Biden maybe having a temper and how he’s not helping the Country when he wears a mask.
"Claiming that what transpired that day really wasn't a riot but instead a collection of misguided enthusiasts voicing their concerns"
Sounds like a quintessential New York Times headline.
Rioters: Get Pelosi! Get Pence!
NYT: " Both sides air grievances during heated political protest at the Capitol Building."
I am increasingly ignoring print media and I'm not even sure we need them. We have the videotape of Majorie Taylor Greene behaving like a lunatic and stalking AOC. It speaks for itself. Also, I cannot believe Nancy Pelosi said that is was a matter for the Ethics Committee. MTG's behavior reckless, criminal, and a ticking time bomb - it's time for the House to remove her from the Capitol, revoke her security, et al.
Oh, the media know. That thing with WITF shows they know and, by the way, how simple it is. The problem is that they don’t care to and have been overly supportive of the GOP since Reagan. If they cared about reporting important stories that make Republicans look bad, that Lancet study from a couple of months ago would have gotten page 1/evening news lead coverage.
"It's time the media stop covering the GOP as a political party - it's not," tweeted SiriusXM radio show host Dean Obeidallah."
Obeidallah is right. The GOP is not a political party because it has no political platforms. I think it is the dregs of a loony-bin.
Eric, if you read this, I have an idea/proposal for an organization that is right up your alley. I call it Medieye. The idea is that you, in particular, would contact as many liberal/progressive media figures that are not employed by cable, network or newspapers, but people who have popular left political websites ( like Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, Raw Story, those types of sites) and podcasts, blogs, anyone who has a fair amount of traffic. Explain to them that you'd like to enlist them and their staff writers, freelancers and contributors to be part of a media strikeforce, who all act as one when they get an alert (or generate an alert themselves) to notify them that a particular reporter has just written or aired a particularly bad story, the egregious type of either biased or just lying or ridiculous bothsiderism, the truly objectionable pieces.
The idea is that when the alert goes out, "members" of the team assess if this piece is bad enough to warrant a "Blast", which would be a coordinated effort of all the signed up people to blast out tweets and posts at many places that A: correct the piece with the truth, B: call out that reporter by name to shame them for printing or airing such disingenuous trash writing/bad journalism, and C: calling out their network or paper for publishing such shit.
Now I'm not talking about just the site admins and reporters who've signed on for this. When any of them sign on to the idea, explain to them that they should announce the plan to their readers and viewers to sign up for the "Blast Network", its own twitter account and fb page, so that each time a blast goes out, it isn't just the sites' staff and whatnot who are responding, it will be hundreds if not thousands of loyal progressive readers and viewers who will enthusiastically, excitedly, amplify the Blast (all of us are so frustrated by crappy reporting, daily) to the point where it WILL TREND on Twitter and facebook, and will in fact trend higher than the offending story did, while publicly shaming that reporter for committing shitty journalism.
Of course, after a couple of these Blasts, ALL reporters will notice and, to the original intent of the group, hopefully think about how they cover politics. And really, if this "movement" gets enough participants, even ossified whales like the NYT, WAPO and networks will have no choice but to try to justify their shit, when a wave of rebuke floods the net and everyone else is talking about how the entire net seems pissed at the NYT or whomever.
To be clear, I am not talking about Blasting reporters for crappy journalism, or lazy journalism, or even for mild bothsiderism. I only mean for this to happen to egregious examples, to reporters whose writing is pretty obviously biased or shitty (and I'm not even talking about going after Fox, OAN or Newsmax reporters; everyone is already aware of their biases). Done too often it loses its sting-- that's why I suggest a small committee of say, four or five of you who would read or watch a piece you were alerted to and decide if this piece warrants a Blast.
And YOU are the perfect public figure to get this going, quite obviously, with Press Run as that is what you already do (SO DAMN WELL, I MIGHT ADD. I've been hoping for years that someone like you would come along!)
I would think it would be easy as hell to get tons of net/media people on board since you already have the name recognition and respect, and this is absolutely your wheelhouse. I'm sure you're busy as hell, but it seems to me like Medieye (or whatever name you give it) could become a force, a BFD if it were done right and handled judiciously.
Kind of interesting that The Times did a great job on the Project Veritas stuff, and, again, it's not by the regular political "reporters." Wouldn't you think the vaunted access enjoyed by The Habes would have gotten this information earlier? Ha ha.
But it goes to a bigger problem. Remember that Woodward and Bernstein covered Watergate as a police story. THAT is why their coverage was so good. Today's so-called political reporters include people who used to cover the police beat, but the idea that they would sink to working that hard again, well ....